grande dame

\ ˈgrän-ˈdäm How to pronounce grande dame (audio) \
plural grandes dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grandes dames (audio) \ also grande dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grande dames (audio) \

Definition of grande dame

1 : a usually elderly woman of great prestige or ability

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for grande dame


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of grande dame in a Sentence

the city's grandes dames still hold considerable sway in its cultural life
Recent Examples on the Web There’s the uneasy dynamic between the two performers, fractious grande dame Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) and Manon (Manon Clavel), the rising ingenue who reminds her of a long-dead rival. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Ingenious Families," 2 July 2020 In This Our Life (1942) Based on a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel of the same name, In This Our Life paired de Havilland with another grande dame of the silver screen, Bette Davis (the two would go on to be lifelong friends). Maureen Lee Lenker,, "9 Olivia de Havilland movies to watch for her 104th birthday that aren’t ‘Gone with the Wind’," 1 July 2020 Having debuted in 1932, the 119-room resort reopened in October following a meticulous, six-month renovation that cemented its standing as northern Cambodia’s grande dame of hospitality. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, "This newly revamped luxury hotel is the best reason to visit Siem Reap this year," 1 July 2020 The top places to stay are the grande dame Hotel Splendide Royal, which debuted a new spa and pool deck with lake views last year, and the Hotel & Lounge Lago Maggiore, which aims to open in June. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, "These Lesser-visited European Cities Have the Culture Without the Crowds," 17 May 2020 The team: the inventor of the sewing machine, the grande dame of the Grand Ole Opry, the founder of what is now Zimbabwe, and Charles Gulden of condiment fame. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1379: Zing, zing a song," 9 Apr. 2020 There's something for everyone here, spread across each of the Hawaiian islands, from an end-of-the-road, Wi-Fi-free retreat on Maui to a historic grande dame facing Honolulu's famous Waikiki Beach. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Resorts in Hawaii: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 13 Feb. 2020 Katherine O’Dell, who died at the age of fifty-eight, the same age her daughter is now, was a grande dame of the Irish theatre. Sarah Resnick, The New Yorker, "The Tragedy of Celebrity in Anne Enright’s “Actress”," 9 Mar. 2020 The grande dame is the Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue, currently presenting Renaissance bronzes by Bertoldo di Giovanni and matter-of-fact painting by Manet. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Holiday Museum Guide: Where to See Art This Season," 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grande dame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of grande dame

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grande dame

French, literally, great lady

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grande dame

Time Traveler for grande dame

Time Traveler

The first known use of grande dame was in 1775

See more words from the same year

Statistics for grande dame

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grande dame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grande dame

grande dame

How to pronounce grande dame (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grande dame

: a usually old woman who is highly admired or respected

More from Merriam-Webster on grande dame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grande dame

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grande dame

Comments on grande dame

What made you want to look up grande dame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!